Bug-munching bacteria

Predatory bacteria with a taste for Salmonella look to be a promising alternative to antibiotics. Research conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Nottingham found that the not-so-friendly bacterium, Bdellovibrio, consumed the harmful Salmonella in the guts of chickens, significantly reducing the infection. Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus is known to prey upon pathogens such […]

The Good Life really is good for you

Perhaps it’s the recession but British allotments are flourishing in the most recent revival of the community garden. Increasing numbers of city folk are taking matters into their own hands in the latest quest for fresh, local produce. New research from the University of Colorado Denver shows that community gardening is good for both emotional […]

Industry tool or public good? Science’s split personality is responsible for debate over funding

For many years it has been widely accepted that science requires state funding; justified predominantly by the idea that science is ‘public good.’ In economics this term refers to a product that costs us all as individuals (i.e. in taxes), in order to eventually provide an economic gain to us as a society. According to […]

Be happy, but not too happy…

Talk about glass half empty, according to a review article released this week in Perspectives on Psychological Science too much happiness can be bad for you. The article, entitled ‘A dark side to happiness?’, suggests that you can have too much of a good thing, even if that good thing is the typically positive emotion, […]

Diversity over ability: how to pick the perfect pub quiz team

‘Swarm intelligence’ refers to how grouping can help solve cognitive problems and a study published in Animal Behaviour this week examined how this works in humans. Most companies work on the assumption that employing the strongest individuals will produce the best team, but theoretical studies have started to question this. One model has predicted that […]

Science is vital; this time for gender equality

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), in its 55th year, has, for the first time, put women in science and technology at the top of its agenda. It represents a realisation that improving the prospects for women scientists will be crucial for improving all aspects of life for women across the […]

Stereotypic sex roles penetrate scientific literature

Could a 1950s attitude to gender roles be stunting animal behaviour research? A recent study published online by the journal Animal Behaviour has found extensive stereotyping of sex roles throughout the research literature of sexual conflict: portraying males as active and females as reactive. Sexual conflict refers to adaptations produced by one sex that are […]